Hamilton County Poor Asylum

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Hamilton County Poor Asylum
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Noblesville, IN
Architecture Style Italianate
Alternate Names
  • Hamilton County Poor Farm
  • Hamilton County Home


The Hamilton County Poor Farm and home were located along Cumberland Road on the site of the present Noblesville High School. The farm originally was about 160 acres and included land east of Cumberland Road where the county corrections complex is now located. The three-story brick “home” was built in the post-Civil War years and was well populated for many years. Even orphans with nowhere to go were taken in. It was local government’s way of answering a social need. Residents did farm work like most of the county’s population did at the time.

Following World War II there was probably an increasing stigma attached to being a county home resident and those who lived there were growing too old for farm work. So the farming operation was abandoned. Then in the 1960s with the advent of Medicaid it became obvious the era of the county home was ending. By the 1970s the century old home with architecture akin to Gothic looked dreary and forbidding. But, Director Basil Conrad and his wife did their best to maintain clean and comfortable living conditions for the dwindling number of residents. Finally, about 1980 the place was closed and the last 25 or 30 old folks were moved out, mostly to nursing homes.

For several years, there were discussions about letting a private firm renovate the building for low income housing. But, then one night fire swept through the vacant structure. It was completely destroyed. Arson was never ruled out.